Friday, October 30, 2015

'Shorthanded' Tallies Key Texas Stars to 5-4 Victory

(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Only one of the two early second period goals were counted as shorthanded, but both essentially were. With Texas down 3-1 after a 5-on-3 goal by Bakersfield, goals from Derek Hulak during the PK and Stephen Johns just as it expired tied the game up and gave Texas new life.

"That's big for momentum," said Devin Shore. "Special teams can gain big momentum or suck it out of your team. We were lucky tonight that the PK helped us bounce back. Anytime you [give up] a shorty, those are back breakers."

Including the two 'shorthanded' tallies, Texas tacked on four unanswered in the second and early third period to put them up 5-3 after trailing by two in the first intermission.

"We started a little slow in the game and got behind," said Coach Derek Laxdal. "We didn't look sharp."

Jesse Blacker added, "You're going to have games where you aren't feeling your best. To be able to get two points, battle the adversity of that is big."

The Stars started out on the wrong foot with Cory Kane in the box for boarding. Brad Hunt's unassisted tally opened the scoring for the Condors. A pretty passing play from Jason Dickinson found Matej Stransky in the slot for the Texas tie, but Ryan Hamilton found twine on a pass from behind the goal line to restore the 2-1 lead after 20.

Cory Kane again found a seat in the penalty box to start the second and was joined by Jesse Blacker for a short 5-on-3 overlap. With one second remaining in the overlap, Brad Hunt scored again to make it 3-1.

"We talked about staying out of the box tonight after Milwaukee. I didn't like Kane's penalties tonight. I sat him down for a little bit. If you're killing four or five in a game, it's tough. Mentally and physically we have to do a better job early in the game."

Devin Shore added, "That was a a tough break. 5-on-3 is tough to kill and that was a nice shot by them. Once the goal is scored, there's not much you can do but look forward to the next shift."

Luckily, the Stars bailed themselves out on the PK with the aforementioned tallies. Derek Hulak had what looked like an offspeed puck beat Brossoit from the left hashes and then Stephen Johns put a puck into an open net off a rush to the net by Devin Shore.

Kane wasn't in the doghouse too long as he was on the ice for the next Stars' goal. Kane dished to Branden Troock, who was able to breeze by a stickless Brad Hunt and beat Brossoit on a dash down the right wing side for the 4-3 lead.

The Stars opened the third on the power play and cashed in for the first time at home all season. Travis Morin collected his third of the year off some mess in front in what would eventually stand up as the game winner.

Josh Winquist would cut the lead to one to make the contest interesting late, but Texas would hold strong.

The Stars take on these same Condors on Sunday afternoon.

Tonight's lines:
Elie-Morin-Ranford
Hulak-Dowling-Rallo
Dickinson-Shore-Stransky
Ully-Kane-Troock

Lindell-Johns
Bystrom-Honka
Backman-Blacker

Lagace

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
McKenzie, Campbell, Faksa (callup)
Smith, Evans, Mangene (scratch)

Tonight's attendance was 5,165.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Bakersfield - October 30 2015

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